Adapting to USPS Changes: Essential Strategies for Cost-Effective Shipping in 2024

USPS Changes 2024 - Discontinue Parcel Select Lightweight - TEC Mailing

Are you feeling the pinch from the USPS discontinuation of Parcel Select Lightweight (PSLW) service? You’re not alone. This significant shift is causing headaches for countless businesses, leading to a rush of unexpected expenses and operational challenges. Whether your company is an ecommerce brand, a subscription service, a print service provider, or a national retailer, understanding and adapting to these USPS changes is crucial to maintaining your bottom line in 2024 and beyond.

This article dives deep into the fallout from the end of PSLW, highlighting the struggles businesses are facing, the surge in shipping costs, and the increased importance of accurate address data. More importantly, we’ll show you how TEC Mailing Solutions can turn these challenges into opportunities with our cutting-edge solutions and exclusive partner network. Read on to discover how you can adapt to these changes smoothly, avoid unnecessary fees, and keep your shipping operations running efficiently.

The Fallout of PSLW Discontinuation

The USPS’s decision to eliminate Parcel Select Lightweight (PSLW) has brought new challenges to the various industries, particularly those in healthcare and others shipping lightweight goods, that might have taken some time to realize how broadly they relied on free forwarding and returns. Many ecommerce brands, like subscription services and small online retailers, heavily leveraged the service as well. These businesses had utilized Parcel Select Lightweight for its cost-effectiveness, especially when shipping lots of small and light packages. The sudden elimination of free forwarding and return services has introduced a host of unexpected expenses and operational challenges, leaving many companies scrambling to adapt.

Businesses Impacted

  1. Healthcare and Pharma: Many of these companies send out recurring shipments and do not have systems in place to update internal addresses when free forwarding was leveraged.
  2. Print Service Providers: Any print service provider that handles small kitting and mailing for clients has likely felt the pain of no longer being able to rely on free forwarding or returns.  All these businesses will need to adopt better shipping integrations for their Print Management Information Systems (MIS) and proactive data quality solutions for all customer/client data.
  3. Ecommerce Platforms: Online stores selling lightweight items such as electronics accessories, fashion jewelry, and cosmetics have been hit hard. These companies generally work with tight profit margins and need a cost-effective shipping solution to compete with larger retailers.
  4. Subscription Services: Monthly box services delivering items like snacks, beauty products, or books are facing significant challenges. These companies depended on the low costs and free forwarding services to manage customer satisfaction and returns effectively.
  5. Small Online Retailers: Boutiques and small retailers who ship small, lightweight products are experiencing a surge in operational costs. The increased shipping expenses and additional fees for incorrect addresses are cutting into their profits.
  6. Dropshipping Ventures: Businesses that use dropshipping models are particularly vulnerable. They often rely on forwarding services to route products directly from suppliers to customers, and the new costs are disrupting their business models.

Common Issues Faced Without Parcel Select Lightweight

  1. Increased Costs: The removal of free forwarding and returns means that any shipment to an incorrect address now incurs additional fees. Businesses that regularly shipped lightweight packages using PSLW are seeing their shipping costs skyrocket.
  2. Operational Headaches: The need to manage and correct addresses manually is causing delays and increasing workload for fulfillment teams. This is problematic for small businesses with limited staff and impossible to manage manually for high volume shippers.
  3. Customer Dissatisfaction: Delays and increased costs are leading to a rise in customer complaints. Businesses that can’t absorb the new costs are having to pass them onto customers, resulting in higher prices and potential loss of sales.
  4. Data Quality Issues: Many companies are now realizing just how much bad data is costing them. Inaccurate addresses lead to failed deliveries, additional forwarding fees, and lost packages. The lack of free return services exacerbates these issues, making it crucial to have accurate data from the outset.

Details on New Fees

  1. Forwarding Fees: Previously free under PSLW, forwarding now incurs a charge for each package that needs to be redirected due to an incorrect address. This can quickly add up, especially for businesses with high shipping volumes.
  2. Return Fees: Similar to forwarding, any returned package now costs the shipper. This includes situations where the recipient has moved or the package was sent to a wrong address.
  3. Nonmachinable Parcel Fees: The new USPS guidelines have changed the criteria for what constitutes a nonmachinable parcel, leading to higher fees for packages that don’t meet the new dimensions and weight limits.

Realizing the Cost of Bad Data

As businesses confront these new challenges, many are discovering the hidden costs of bad data. Poor address quality has always been an issue, but the financial impact was mitigated by the free services that USPS previously offered. Now, with the elimination of these services, the true cost of bad data is becoming painfully clear. Each incorrect address not only means a failed delivery but also additional fees for forwarding or returns, leading to a significant increase in overall shipping costs.

Companies are now compelled to reassess their data quality practices. This includes:

  • Address Verification: Implementing systems to verify addresses as they are entered into your shopping cart, CRM, ERP, MIS, or any other key software systems in your technology stack.
  • Regular Updates: Ensuring that all of your customer databases are regularly updated to reflect any changes in addresses.
  • Proactive Error Correction: Using tools to detect and correct address errors before they result in failed deliveries.

The fallout from the discontinuation of USPS’s PSLW service is a wake-up call for businesses that have relied on these services for cost-effective shipping. The sudden increase in costs and operational challenges highlights the need for proactive data management and the importance of accurate address verification. TEC Mailing Solutions’ Verify and Confirm software offers a robust solution to these challenges, helping businesses ensure data accuracy, reduce costs, and maintain customer satisfaction in this new landscape.

TEC Mailing Solutions to the Rescue

As businesses grapple with the fallout from the discontinuation of USPS Parcel Select Lightweight (PSLW), TEC Mailing Solutions stands ready to provide comprehensive support. Our innovative suite of solutions is designed to help mailers and shippers navigate this new landscape with ease and efficiency. Let’s delve into the powerful solutions TEC Mailing Solutions offers and how they can help.

Verify and Confirm: Proactive Data Quality Solutions

At the heart of TEC Mailing Solutions’ offering is the Verify and Confirm software. This solution revolutionizes how businesses handle rising costs from incorrect addresses and unsuccessful deliveries. Here’s how it helps:

  • Accurate Address Verification: Verify and Confirm catches address errors before they occur. This proactive approach ensures that packages are sent to the correct addresses, reducing the need for costly forwarding and return services.
  • Cost Savings: Removing the costs linked to incorrect addresses allows businesses to unlock substantial savings quickly. Packages that need to be redirected or returned add up quickly, when you consider fees, shipping costs, product replacements, and the manual work required for restocking inventory.
  • Enhanced Efficiency: With accurate data, the shipping process is streamlined. This results in fewer delays, quicker deliveries, and enhanced customer satisfaction.

Multi-Carrier Shipping API and Platform

TEC Mailing Solutions offers a robust multi-carrier shipping API and platform that integrates seamlessly with existing systems. This platform provides:

  • Flexible Carrier Options: Gain access to numerous shipping carriers, enabling businesses to select the optimal choice for each shipment based on cost, speed, and reliability. 
  • Real-Time Shipment Tracking: Monitor all shipments in real-time, offering transparency and reassurance to both businesses and their customers.
  • Automated Shipping Solutions: Automate the shipping process from label creation to delivery, reducing manual errors and saving time.

Postal Optimization Solutions for Advanced Spend Management

TEC Mailing Solutions excels in postal optimization, offering advanced tools to manage USPS shipping costs effectively:

  • Spend Analysis: In-depth insights into shipping costs assist businesses in pinpointing areas for potential savings.
  • Rate Shopping and Carrier Optimization: Automatically evaluate rates from various carriers, service levels and consolidators to secure the most economical option for each shipment.
  • Effective Consolidation: Enhance shipping routes and effectively consolidate shipments to cut costs and expedite delivery times.

Exceptional Support

What truly distinguishes TEC Mailing Solutions is our unwavering commitment to exceptional customer service. Recognizing that each business has unique requirements, our team is devoted to offering personalized support and tailored solutions. Here’s what you can expect:

  • Expert Consultation: Receive expert advice on optimizing your shipping operations and reducing costs to confirm our solutions are exactly what your business needs.
  • Onboarding and Training: Comprehensive onboarding and training helps your team get up to speed quickly with TEC Mailing Solutions’ tools and services. It also ensures your team gets the maximum benefit from our industry-leading solutions.
  • Responsive Support: Access to exceptional tech support ensures that any issues are resolved quickly, minimizing disruption to your business.

Navigating the end of USPS’s PSLW service is challenging, but TEC Mailing Solutions offers a comprehensive suite of tools and services to help businesses adapt and thrive. From proactive data quality solutions with Verify and Confirm to a powerful multi-carrier shipping platform, advanced postal optimization tools, and exceptional customer service, TEC Mailing Solutions is your partner in overcoming these challenges and achieving cost-effective, efficient shipping operations. Our team is ready to help streamline your data quality and shipping processes to keep your business running smoothly today.

Fulfillment Partners: A Critical Evaluation

These recent changes to USPS services also make it crucial for businesses to closely evaluate their fulfillment partners to ensure they are adapting effectively. This evaluation goes beyond basic performance metrics and delves into their capabilities in data management and shipping efficiency. Here are some key considerations and questions businesses should address with their third-party logistics (3PL) providers:

Critical Questions to Ask Your 3PL Providers

  1. Proactive Address Management:
    • Are your 3PL providers using services to proactively update old or incorrect addresses?
    • How frequently are these updates performed to ensure accuracy?
    • What systems do they have in place to detect and correct address errors before they become costly mistakes?
  2. Data Accuracy Maintenance:
    • How proactive are they in maintaining the overall data quality of your customer addresses?
    • Do they employ advanced software solutions like TEC Mailing’s Verify and Confirm to ensure data accuracy?
    • What measures are in place to continuously validate and clean the address data?
  3. Cost Management and Optimization:
    • What strategies are your 3PL partners using to manage and minimize shipping costs?
    • Are they leveraging multi-carrier shipping APIs to compare rates and select the most cost-effective options?
    • Do they offer postal optimization solutions to help reduce overall spend?
  4. Technology and Integration:
    • Are they capable of automating key parts of the shipping process to reduce manual errors and increase efficiency?
    • Would they benefit from integrating Verify and Confirm into their order management system?

How TEC Mailing’s Partner Network Can Help

TEC Mailing’s exclusive partner network is uniquely positioned to support businesses through these transitions with a suite of advanced tools and services. Here’s how our network can provide significant advantages:

  1. Advanced Address Verification:
    • Partners in our network utilize the Verify and Confirm software, ensuring that all shipments are processed with the highest level of address accuracy. This proactive approach drastically reduces the need for forwarding and return services, saving businesses time and money.
  2. Multi-Carrier Shipping API:
    • Our partners are equipped with a robust multi-carrier shipping API that allows businesses to leverage all major carriers, including merchant rate cards, negotiated service agreements, and other custom rate cards. This includes advanced rules and real-time rate shopping to drive down shipping costs and improve delivery times.
  3. Comprehensive Support:
    • From address verification to complete shipping logistics, TEC Mailing’s partners provide end-to-end solutions. This includes everything from initial data input and verification to final delivery and return management, ensuring a seamless and efficient shipping process.
  4. Consolidators and 3PLs:
    • Our network includes top-tier consolidators and 3PLs that prioritize proactive data management. This means fewer errors, better cost management, and a strategic approach to maintaining customer databases with complete and accurate information. By avoiding unnecessary fees and optimizing shipping routes, our partners help businesses maintain profitability and efficiency.
  5. Exceptional Customer Service:
    • TEC Mailing Solutions built our exclusive partner network around companies that are committed to providing outstanding customer service. This ensures that any issues are resolved quickly, and businesses receive the guidance they need to optimize their shipping operations.

Choosing the right consolidator and fulfillment partners is more critical than ever in the wake of service changes at the USPS. By working with TEC Mailing’s exclusive partner network, businesses can ensure they are leveraging the best in address verification, multi-carrier shipping solutions, consolidator services and comprehensive support. This proactive approach not only helps manage costs but also enhances overall efficiency and customer satisfaction. Reach out to TEC Mailing Solutions today to learn more about how our partner network can help you navigate these challenging times and keep your shipping operations running smoothly.

 

Overcoming USPS Changes with TEC Mailing Solutions

The discontinuation of USPS’s Parcel Select Lightweight (PSLW) service has introduced significant challenges for businesses that rely on affordable and efficient shipping options. The increased costs due to the elimination of free forwarding and return services are starting to add up for many businesses. Better data quality management is the only way to avoid many of these new fees.  It is also more important than ever before to evaluate your fulfillment partners’ capabilities in adapting to these changes. Businesses must now scrutinize their shipping processes and address verification methods of any fulfillment partners to maintain cost-efficiency and customer satisfaction.

TEC Mailing Solutions offers a comprehensive strategy to mitigate the impacts of the USPS changes. By utilizing Verify and Confirm, businesses can ensure proactive data quality, drastically reducing the need (and increasing costs) for forwarding and returns. Our robust multi-carrier shipping API allows companies to leverage various carriers for the best rates and services, optimizing shipping costs. Additionally, TEC Mailing’s exclusive partner network includes top-tier consolidators and 3PLs, providing advanced support and ensuring high levels of efficiency and accuracy. Partnering with TEC Mailing Solutions equips businesses with the tools to avoid unnecessary fees and recreate the benefits of PSLW, ensuring smooth and cost-effective shipping operations.

Call us today at 866-379-9437 or schedule a meeting with our team on the contact us page of our website.

 

TEC Mailing Solutions